I recently saw someone from my past life (the one in which I was married) which got me thinking about how long I’ve been single. Nearly 7 years. I’m now past the halfway mark of how long I was married, have done a hell of a lot of work on myself (some of those stunningly bad choices were made while married), and have forgiven myself and him for the things we were too proud, stubborn or stupid to deal with when we were together. That’s not an easy thing to do. Forgiveness.
Part of my recovery process from November’s surgery is to forgive myself for the drama I have caused in my life and in the lives of others. I truly believe that much of my medical condition is due to the immense stress I had/have been under from guilt– whether warranted or not– and from not using the big mouth I have to speak up when I’ve been unhappy.
I got married very young (22) and naively thought that being a good wife meant agreeing with everything my husband did or wanted to do. I became a “go-along-er.” You know the type. We all know people like this. What’s strange is that I never had been that person. Ever. I was masquerading around as a Stepford Wife and the poor guy married to me hadn’t a clue what he’d gotten into. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t some whippy-dip, Forest-Gump-feather floating on the breeze type of guy. He could handle my crap, but he also coined my least favorite moniker to date: she’s a handful.
Yes. Yes, I am a handful. And if that’s a problem, it’s your problem. Took me the past six years to come to that realization.
It bothered me the first couple times I heard that my ex-husband remarried and had a couple of kids. I couldn’t have kids, was still single, he got remarried quite shortly after we divorced and bam!… had the family we didn’t have. But I realized I was being one of those crybaby “it’s not fair!” women for no good reason.
Get over it, Nicki; you can’t have kids. You two were like lighter fluid and a blow torch anyway.
It was a blessing in disguise that I couldn’t have children. The Universe works in mysterious ways. I finally got past the “hurt feelings” which were nothing more than my own silly pride, as well as the notion that I was “replaced” so quickly, which was really just my girlfriends using typical chick lingo so I’d hate him instead of having my ego bruised, or something silly like that. Our girls mean well.
Seven years has brought me to a place where I don’t care about his life. By no means is that a hostile statement; it merely means his life no longer has bearing on mine and hopefully mine has no bearing on his. Maybe he’s found happiness (Lord knows the last six years of our marriage were horrendous, a good portion was my doing, a good portion, his), and he enjoys having the family he couldn’t have during his first marriage. On the flip side, I’m glad for both of us that I found my big mouth to say I can’t do this anymore and to leave. I know I hurt him. I did not readily know I’d hurt myself. That’s the sneakiest part of divorce; it’s not only what we do to someone else, but what we’ve done to ourselves.
I refused to be one of those women who spoke badly about her ex. Where does that get us? It makes us sound like catty, bitter bitches and gets us nowhere but alone… and bitchy. Wow, that’s exactly the place I’d always wanted to be: alone with my bitchy self. Yikes.
One of the biggest reasons I began this blog was to help other women get over themselves. Yes, I said it. It’s hard to take the magnifying mirror up close and give it a good look without the rose-colored glasses. I can tell you from experience it ain’t pretty. But, if we cannot look at ourselves with honesty, we’re deluding ourselves and all the people around us. We are neither getting to know ourselves nor allowing others to do so. If that’s the case, we might as well be Barbies or Stepford Wives or the bitchy loners so many of us become. I don’t know about you, but that sounds very, very, very unpleasant.
When you can face yourself head on with honesty and courage, you can become the best version of yourself and allow the people in your life to share in all your flawed glory. So you’re divorced, or over 40, or had a mastectomy, or have crooked teeth, or cheated on your spouse, or yelled at your kids, or aren’t speaking to your mother… get out the mirror, lady, and take a good look at yourself. Are you that horrid a person? No. Are these things that have happened to you so horrible? No. Do you just need to do some honest self-assessment? Uhh… yea.
I think that seven year itch is just our subconscious giving us a friendly reminder to forgive our shortcomings, to accept the things that happen to us and because of us, and to be open to being who we truly are. If we don’t, we wind up stagnating. That is not progress. That is not living honestly. It is, however, the perfect environment for mold growth and putrefaction. Sounds fun.
So muster your strength and take a good hard look. Just don’t break the mirror… that brings on the bad kind of seven years…